May 24, 2024  
2023-2024 General Catalog 
    
2023-2024 General Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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SOC 120 - Marriage and Family


Course Department: Social Science
Last Date of Approval: Spring 2021

3 Credits
Total Lecture Hours: 45
Total Lab Hours: 0
Total Clinical Hours: 0
Total Work-Based Experience Hours: 0

Course Description:
This course is a sociological study of marriage and family and related interpersonal relationships. The social institutions of marriage and family are examined in historical and contemporary perspectives and in relation to social change. The course examines the main structures and functions of marriage and family; investigates marriage and family forms in various cultural and social settings; and addresses various social issues and problems involving marriage and family. There is an emphasis on sociological theories and current research on family interaction, kinship systems, courtship, components of mate selection, intimate relationships, gender role expectations, and child-rearing practices. Knowledge of marriage and family practices and processes and an understanding of how interpersonal relationships influence the functioning of families, households, workplaces, schools, and other institutions are important skills for achieving success in life on both a personal and professional level.

Prerequisites/Corequisites: None

Mode(s) of Instruction: traditional/face-to-face, virtual, and/or online

Credit for Prior Learning: There are no Credit for Prior Learning opportunities for this course.

Course Fees: None

Common Course Assessment(s): None

Student Learning Outcomes and Objectives:
1.  Define “marriage” and “family” and explain how the meaning of these terms varies by time and place.

  1. Define “marriage” and explain how the meaning of this term varies by time and place.
  2. Define “family” and explain how the meaning of this term varies by time and place.
  3. Utilize sociological theories to explain why marriage and family are considered to be both social structures and social institutions.
  4. Explain how marriage and family are impacted in various societies by biological, sociocultural, and economic factors.
  5. Explain how marriage and family are impacted in various societies by political and legal factors.

 

2.  Describe major kinds of societies, what distinguishes them, and describe typical family relationships within these societies.

  1. Identify major kinds of societies and major kinds of marriage and family structures in history and the contemporary era.
  2. Differentiate between extended and nuclear family structures, monogamous and polygamous family structures, and patrilineal and matrilineal family structures.
  3. Describe typical family relationships in major kinds of societies in history and the contemporary era.
  4. Explain how cultural influences affect one’s individual and family situation in major kinds of societies in history and the contemporary era.
  5. Apply the main theoretical approaches of sociology (structural functionalism, conflict theory, and symbolic interactionism) to an analysis of marriage and family relations.

 

3.  Describe the historical background of marriage and family relationships in our contemporary culture and demonstrate an awareness of how marriage and family relationships have changed in various ways.

  1. Describe the historical, sociocultural, and legal background of marriage and family relationships.
  2. Evaluate the evolution of marriage and family relationships when it comes to the variable of social class.
  3. Evaluate the evolution of marriage and family relationships when it comes the variables of sex and gender.
  4. Evaluate the evolution of marriage and family relationships when it comes to the variables of race, ethnicity, and religion.
  5. Evaluate the evolution of marriage and family relationships when it comes to the variables of sexual orientation and gender identity.

 

4.  Identify and assess social problems that are germane to marriage and family in contemporary American society.

  1. Describe and evaluate the social problems of infidelity and divorce.
  2. Describe and evaluate the social problems of domestic violence, including both spousal abuse and child abuse.
  3. Describe and evaluate the social problems of families in poverty, with an emphasis on the feminization of poverty.
  4. Describe and evaluate the social problems of inadequate access to health care, including family planning services.
  5. Describe and evaluate alcohol and substance abuse and other social problems that negatively impact families and marital relationships.

 

5.  Analyze the life situation of persons who are culturally or physically different or who have lived in times past and show how one might promote more tolerance and acceptance of traditions, beliefs, and behaviors that may be different.

  1. Analyze the life situation of persons who are living in families headed by single parents, stepparents, adopted parents, or foster parents.
  2. Analyze the life situation of persons who are cohabitating or living in families headed by cohabitating couples.
  3. Analyze the life situation of persons who are living in households headed by interracial, interethnic, or interfaith couples.
  4. Analyze the life situation of persons who are living in households headed by intergenerational couples, same-sex couples, or other non-traditional couples.
  5. Analyze the life situation of persons who are living in households that contain people with disabilities.

 

6.  Evaluate how past cultural guidelines are today being constantly challenged, seen as outdated or irrelevant, and no longer accepted by many persons as the best guide for one’s important relationships.

  1. Describe and evaluate the cultural context in which courtship, dating, and premarital sex have evolved in the modern era.
  2. Describe and evaluate the cultural context in which norms and values relating to monogamy have evolved in the modern era.
  3. Describe and evaluate the cultural context in which gender roles within marriage and family have evolved in the modern era.
  4. Describe and evaluate the cultural context in which the issue of sexually transmitted diseases has evolved in the modern era.
  5. Describe and evaluate the cultural context in which the issue of social welfare support for families with children has evolved in the modern era.

 

7.  Describe and analyze processes involved in decision-making that can be helpful in making decisions concerning important relationships in one’s life and how they can be applied to one’s individual life situation.

  1. List some effective methods that can be used to diminish unnecessary stress in important relationships in one’s life.
  2. Apply the information concerning unrealistic expectations, ineffective defenses, and unnecessary provocations that are preventable and sometimes curable in one’s important relationships in life.
  3. Effectively demonstrate ways to improve communication, reduce conflict, manage stress, and avoid crisis in important relationships in one’s life.
  4. Apply information about ways to build, maintain, and strengthen relationships that are valued.
  5. Describe ways to terminate unsalvageable, unrewarding, or destructive relationships and be able to demonstrate the ability to apply such knowledge.



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